Panos Kelamis

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Panos Kelamis
Panos Kelamis headshot.png
Membership Life Membership

Panos Kelamis is receiving Life Membership for his numerous contributions to the Society. These include serving as Vice President on the SEG Executive Committee (2006–2007) and as a 2005 Distinguished Lecturer. He has received Honorable Mention for Best Paper at the SEG Annual Meeting on three occasions. Kelamis has represented SEG in the Middle East area for the IPTC. He has organized and participated in numerous SEG Summer Workshops and meetings, such as the joint SEG/EAGE Summer Workshop held in Rhodos, Greece. He was nominated for SEG President-elect in 2008.

Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by A.J. (Guus) Berkhout

Dr. Kelamis, Panos to his friends, is a native Athenian. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from The University of Athens. He decided to suspend study in nuclear physics (his original plan was to work for NASA) and go for a master’s degree in geophysics from Imperial College. That turned out to be a very good decision. An offer from Ernie Kanasewich brought him to The University of Alberta. Panos, with his new bride Rea, arrived in Edmonton, and, in less than three years received his PhD on the subject of generalized ray theory and attenuation. He admits that he did not solve the 3D case—nevertheless, he received the CSEG Best Paper Award in 1981. His industrial career started with Western Geophysical in Houston, followed by two years at Dome Petroleum in Calgary. At that time with industry hesitantly looking at depth imaging, he pioneered development of one of the first poststack depth-migration algorithms.

In 1985, Panos joined the R&D department of Saudi Aramco in Dhahran. He was assigned to follow up on the research of the Delphi Consortium at Delft University of Technology. Immediately, he saw the potential of the newly developed, surface-related multiple elimination (SRME) method for land data, then only considered applicable for the marine case. From that time on, he has pushed the application to land data and—under his stimulating guidance—the collaboration between Delft and Aramco turned out to be very successful. His 2000 Geophysics paper with Eric Verschuur was the first publication of SRME technology on land data. The next step was internal multiples, a major issue in Middle East land data, and there he also paved the road to early success. These efforts led to his SEG 75th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture tour in 2005, where he shared his experience and insights in land multiple elimination at more than 30 locations.

Kelamis’ research includes important contributions such as early implementations of poststack depth migration, DMO, and hyperbolic velocity filtering. In 1990 he received Honorable Mention for his SEG presentation on innovative implementation of parabolic Radon multiple removal (he’s nicknamed “Dr. Radon” within Saudi Aramco). Recently, Panos was instrumental in providing an alternative solution to another major challenge in land data, the complex near surface. His CFP-based redatuming technology provides major improvements over the conventional “statics” approach. In 1999, his SEG redatuming presentation was also awarded honorable mention.

Within Saudi Aramco, Panos has held several technical and managerial positions, including chief geophysicist. Presently, he is the chief technologist responsible for geophysical research in Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center. Despite these demanding positions, Panos has dedicated much time to SEG. Insiders know these activities would not be possible without his charming wife and her complete support during all these years.

I conclude by highlighting another side of Dr. Kelamis. His enthusiasm for new ideas and his continuous motivation to apply new concepts make him a unique personality in our community. Furthermore, he is a master at bringing people together at the right time in the right place. Wherever Panos is around, you know he is there, and you know something is happening. Our Society needs entrepreneurs like Panos to increase appreciation for our profession and to stimulate the younger generation. Native Athenian Panos Kelamis spreads out warmth and appreciation to people close to his heart, and he knows how to combine the excitement in his professional life with the many other good things in life, including Burgundy wines and Cuban cigars!